We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our chosen social media, advertising and analytics partners. Read our cookie policy for more information.

Grassroots, Small Venues & Pubs

How to go about it

Small venues in England and Wales can put on live music without a music licence thanks to the Live Music Act. Venues are covered under the terms of the Act if:

  • They are based in England or Wales
  • There is an existing alcohol licence
  • There are fewer than 500 people in the audience for amplified music. There is no audience limit for unamplified music.
  • The live music will not take place between the hours of 23.00 & 08.00

This is great for grassroots music, especially in pubs. A study by PRS for Music reports that bars putting on live music see an increase in ‘wet sales’ of 44% over the weekend, peaking at 60% on Friday and Saturday nights, and are on average three times less likely to close.

A live music programme can enhance a business and be a creative hub for a community. The Music Venue Trust advises on the legislative, practical and creative elements involved in hosting live music. For the artist performer the MU can provide advice on live performance contracts, health and safety issues, promotional advice and useful contacts. Our Fair Play Guide advises on fair ticket deals and we have a network of venues across the UK that support the principles of the Fair Play Guide.